When I last shared the little black dresser, it was distressed and quite honestly wasn’t wearing it very well! Blacks and dark colors generally don’t look great in a flat finish and they at least need a little gloss to bring out the richness of the color. This piece was painted in MMS Milk Paint’s Typewriter, so it definitely fits in that camp.
There are three other posts in this series, you might want to check them out, especially if you’re looking for step-by-step video tutorials on prepping, painting, and distressing a piece of furniture. These steps can work on pretty much any piece whether it’s raw, painted, stained, or wearing a poly finish.
In this post, we’re finishing up with a Hemp Oil finish. In our line, we carry several different types of finishes – Hemp Oil, Waxes (Furniture/Clear, White, Antiquing, and Zinc, Natural Beeswax), and Tough Coat, which is a waterbased polyurethane. For very dark colors, I wouldn’t suggest using Tough Coat, because it can look cloudy or hazy over the dark colors. This doesn’t happen over mid-tones or light colors, though, and it’s a wonderful, durable finish to use in those cases.
What I prefer using is Hemp Oil or the waxes.
They do a much better job at bringing out the richness of the paint color. My two favorites for Typewriter are Hemp Oil and Antiquing Wax. (You can also layer a wax over the Hemp Oil for added durability, shine, and protection.) In the case of this dresser, I just kept it simple by applying one coat of Hemp Oil.
Here is a video showing how I applied the Hemp Oil along with my very favorite technique for getting a buttery smooth finish.
And here is the end result…
I haven’t painted very many pieces black in recent years and this one makes me wonder why! It turned out so beautifully and I love the warmth of the wood peeking through the subtle distressing.
The piece wasn’t bad to start with, but I feel like it has more depth and soul now and somehow even looks older.
Some of my readers weren’t in favor of this piece being painted, but I hope some may have been swayed. I always try to show respect to the pieces I paint and their age and condition. I don’t want to indiscriminately slap a coat of paint on and hide the beauty of the piece. I’ll gently work with the lines, shape, and features of the dresser to highlight its details while still allowing it to be what it is.
And I love that there is variation in this black. It’s not a perfectly uniform black. It has a quiet personality that’s interesting and even inviting. You want to run the tips of your fingers along this piece to see if the feels as smooth as it looks. And it definitely does.
A lot of people have asked about why I paint with the drawers in. I’ve gotten so used to doing that, that I forget it might be abnormal! When the drawers are inset, as they are in this dresser, I can paint lightly around the edges of the drawers and reach everything I need to. I even left these drawers in for distressing, which sometimes I’ll pull them out to be able to distress the edges and the frame.
Painting a piece like this results in the sides of the drawers being nice and clean without tape. The trick is not using too much paint around the edges. If you get a little bit of paint on the sides, just lightly sand it off. It wasn’t necessary on these drawers, though…
I’ll be taking this piece to Adourn in Chatfield, MN to sell!
And now, I’m on the hunt for another piece…